New Bedford, MA


New Bedford, MA

The City of New Bedford is home to an estimated 95,120 residents, and it’s located in Bristol County, MA.

This report will help you become better acquainted with New Bedford and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in Bristol County, MA?
  • How clean is the air in Bristol County, MA?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in Bristol County, MA?
  • Is the water in Bristol County, MA safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near New Bedford, MA

There are five Superfund sites in Bristol County, MA. Superfund sites, like Walton & Lonsbury Inc. in Attleboro, MA, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the New Bedford, MA area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:


Map Legend:

25005

A. Walton & Lonsbury Inc. (HRS Score: 58)

The Walton & Lonsbury Inc. site, a chromium electroplating facility from 1940 to 2007, is located in Attleboro, MA.

25005

B. Re-Solve, Inc. (HRS Score: 48)

The Re-Solve, Inc. site, a waste chemical reclamation facility from 1956 to 1980, is located in Dartmouth, MA.

Contaminants found at the Re-Solve, Inc. site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Iron
25005

C. Atlas Tack Corp. (HRS Score: 43)

The Atlas Tack Corp. site, where a manufacturing facility operated from 1901 to 1985, is located in Fairhaven, MA.

Contaminants found at the Atlas Tack Corp. site include:

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Benzene
25005

D. Sullivan's Ledge (HRS Score: 33)

The Sullivan's Ledge site is in New Bedford, MA. Before 1932, a quarry was operated on the site. Then, from the 1940s until the 1970s, the quarry pits were used for the disposal of hazardous materials and other wastes.

Contaminants found at the Sullivan's Ledge site include:

  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
  • Iron
  • Lead
25005

E. New Bedford (HRS Score: No Data)

The New Bedford site, a commercial seaport contaminated by improper disposal of industrial wastes from the 1940s until the 1970s, is located in New Bedford, MA.

Contaminants found at the New Bedford site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Air Quality in the New Bedford, MA Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Bristol County, MA as follows:

Ground-Level
Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Short-Term
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Year-Round
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in New Bedford, MA Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

Indoor radon readings in Bristol County, MA are expected to average from 2 to 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 2.

EPA Radon Zone

According to the EPA, you should consider acting to reduce your home's radon level if it measures between 2 and 4 pCi/L, so if you're contemplating buying a home in New Bedford, MA, you should have a radon test performed.

Water Quality in New Bedford, MA Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following Bristol County, MA water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
25005Attleboro Water DeptTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 
25005Dartmouth Water DivisionTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 
25005Fall River Water DepartmentTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 
25005Somerset Water DepartmentTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 
25005Swansea Water DistrictTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.


Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on trendingtowns.com represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.

Paul

I’ve moved several times over the years, so I know just how stressful it can be to relocate. I want to help put your mind at ease. That’s why I research and write about all the things I think you should consider when moving to a new town.

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